The weather this weekend will be sunny and warm giving area motorcyclists a chance to get back on the road. Law enforcement agencies want to use this as an opportunity to promote motorcycle safety awareness throughout the summer.
May is motorcycle safety awareness month.
Many serious and fatal crashes occur when motorists turn in front of motorcyclists. Area drivers should remain on the lookout for motorcycles, especially at intersections and while making turns and lane changes. It can be difficult to accurately judge the time, speed and distance of an approaching motorcycle.
Police advise a driver to check the position of an oncoming motorcycle 2-3 times before progressing through an intersection of left turn.
Troopers urge all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, 151 motorcycle fatalities occurred statewide in 2012. Of those deaths, 122 people were not wearing helmets.
Construction zones and uneven road surfaces can also be a deadly area for bikers. Road projects will be underway throughout the region this summer, and area law enforcement warn motorcyclists of “edge traps,” which occur when one lane is higher than the other. An inexperienced or inattentive motorcyclist can easily lose control when encountering an “edge trap.”
Indiana State Police offer the following safety tips for motorcyclists:
- Wear a Department of Transportation approved helmet and riding safety gear
- Don’t consume alcohol while riding. During 2012, 36 motorcycle fatalities occurred in Indiana involving alcohol.
- Be visible. Ensure your headlight, taillight and brake light work properly.
- Wear high visibility clothing
- Use lane positioning to increase visibility and watch for turning vehicles
- Avoid riding in blind spots.